This is the eighth of 87 letters exchanged during World War II between Nicholas Salvatore and Elizabeth Galloway.
For more see Nicholas and Elizabeth.
East Egg. Long Island
Mr. Carraway –
How fortuitous it was that we would meet up all those years ago. Do you see any of that crowd anymore? I certainly don’t. I’m not sure I would recognize them even if I did. I think I would recognize you but I can’t swear to it. You never quite treated me like you should, did you? Never mind, no use fretting over it, it’s bad for the complexion. Anyway, I’m in training, must go practice and all that. Don’t forget that you’re still half in love with me and always will be.
PS – I find myself going to sit in the church. I don’t pray or even think. I like being surrounded by so much white. When was I happiest? My first instinct was to say I’ve never been that happy, but I suppose that can’t be true, can it? How could I feel the way I do now unless I knew there was another way to feel? The only time I’m content is when I’m able to forget about myself.
I don’t know if I could pinpoint one moment when I was happiest, and I promise I’m not trying to avoid the question. I do know it would have to be one of the times that I spent with my brother, Bern. He’s the only person who never let me down. My father, well, I don’t even know where to begin with him, but he was never a girl’s ideal parent, you know? Whenever I was feeling bad over something my father did or said to me, Bern would always know. He didn’t have to be around for it, he just knew and he would always find me and make me feel better. He’d read me stories until I fell asleep and sometimes he’d stay by my bed all night. He was the only one who didn’t call me selfish for leaving that terrible place. So I suppose my happiest moment has to be any time that I spent with him.
Next letter – October 17, 1943